What´s so great about Sedona?
This old western town of 11,000 people is situated in one of the most picturesque landscapes of the United States. It is nestled among fantastically shaped red rock formations that are dotted by green vegetation. Sedona is home to a vibrant community of artists and creative people and offers a variety of galleries, trading posts workshops and seminars. Sedona is just over two hours south of the Grand Canyon, and its vicinity is rich in ancient archeological sites as well as fantastic hiking, mountain biking and off-roading terrain. Tour operators in town offer excursions by horseback, jeep, shuttle, airplane, helicopter or hot air balloon. Sedona is also world-renowned for its special energetic configuration which has attracted scores of psychics and healers.
How old is Sedona?
Sedona was founded in 1902 by the Schnebly brothers from Gorin, Missouri. The Schneblys farmed apples on the banks of Oak Creek, and Carl Schnebly named the town after his wife Sedona after the postmaster general had rejected his first proposal, Schnebly Hill Station, for its length.
Where is Sedona?
Sedona is located in north-central Arizonas high Sonoran desert, a landscape dominated by sandstone cliffs, low evergreens, shrubs and cacti. The town sits at 4500 feet (1371 meters) elevation at the southern rim of the Colorado Plateau, and it is surrounded by the Coconino national forest, a vast, protected area of 1,8 million acres.
How do we get to Sedona?
The nearest airports are Flagstaff Pulliam (a 45-minute drive north from Sedona) with limited airline service and Phoenix Sky Harbor (a 2-hour-drive south), which is serviced by most major airlines. Las Vegas McCarran Airport is a 4.5-hour drive away. There is a shuttle service from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Sedona that runs several times a day; rental cars are available at the airport.
What is the weather like?
Sedona has four seasons with snow-covered high cliffs in the winter and the famous dry heat of summer. In December, January and February, temperatures are below freezing at night and in the 50s and 60s (12° to 20° Celsius) during the day. Fall and springtime have the most moderate temperatures. Sedona gets some snow in the winter, but it barely sticks around for more than a few hours due to the strong sun. In June, July and August, temperatures are in the 90s and 100s (32° to 38° Celcius) during the day and in the 60s (around 20° Celsius at night). Springtime and fall are the most moderate times of year. During the hot summer months, afternoon monsoon rainstorms make for spectacular weather like pink lightning and double rainbows, as well as for a welcome cooling effect.
What´s the best season to visit?
Sedona is beautiful year round. If you like the heat and look forward to playing in a creek, come in the summer. If you plan to hike or mountain bike a lot, make it winter, spring or fall. If you want to get away from the rain for sure, visit between September and November or between April and July.
What do we need to bring?
A wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect you against the strong high desert sun, layered clothing to accommodate the temperature changes in the desert, your camera, sturdy shoes, curiosity – and a big smile!
How far is the Grand Canyon?
Grand Canyon National Park is approximately 2.5 hours by car to the north of Sedona. Follow 89a north to Flagstaff, get on 180 north in Flagstaff and merge onto 64 north at Valle, which will take you to the park´s south entrance. Entrance fee per private car is 25 dollars. Guided full-day tours to the Grand Canyon are also available from Sedona. Remember that the south rim of the Grand Canyon is at 7000 feet elevation, temperatures are usually 15° Fahrenheit (8° Celsius) cooler than in Sedona.
How do we get around Sedona?
Sedona has a free public transport system, the Roadrunner, connecting the major tourist locations. There is also the Verde Lynx bus system connecting Sedona and Cottonwood. Rental cars are available in town (you can also rent scooters, Jeeps, motorbikes and tom cars here) or at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
Where can we shop?
Sedona has a wide variety of art galleries, shops, native American jewelry, curio and souvenir stores. You will find them around Uptown, the between the bridge at Oak Creek and the Hillside galleries and in Tlaquepaque, a quaint shopping area by Oak Creek built as a replica of a colonial Mexican town near Guadalajara renowned for its pottery makers. There is also a small outlet mall at the Village of Oak Creek, five miles to the southeast of Sedona.
Where do we eat?
Sedona´s cafes, diners and restaurants offer a wide variety of international cuisine, ranging from local southwestern specialties to vegetarian, Asian, Mexican, Italian, American and Greek food. There are also two supermarket chains, two health food markets and several delis in town.
Where can we stay?
Sedona offers all kinds of accommodation: Camping, RV parks, motels, hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and top-class resorts and spas are available throughout town.
What is there to do?
An endless variety of activities awaits you here – from local adventures like hikes, mountain bike outings, horseback rides and creekside fun, jeep tours, helicopter, biplane and hot air balloon flights to archeological tours of ancient ruins or day trips to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, ghost towns, and Indian reservations.
What does the nightlife have to offer?
Sedona has a movie theater with six screens and a small but vibrant music scene. Many local bars and restaurants feature live entertainment on the weekends - bands and performers, open mike nights, drum circles and karaoke. Sedona also holds an annual film festival in February, the festival of lights in December, and a jazz fest in October.
Can we bring pets?
Various hotels, camp grounds and touring companies in Sedona allow pets. Please inquire ahead of time to avoid surprises. Grand Canyon National Park allows pets on a leash only and not in lodges or below the rim. The Coconino National Forest allows pets on trails on a leash only, but there are no pets allowed at archeological ruin sites. No pets are allowed at Grashopper Point, Red Rock State Park and by the water at Slide Rock State Park.
Isn´t the Arizona desert dangerous?
Not if you come prepared and use common sense. Always carry a hat and plenty of water when you´re out and about, wear sturdy shoes and don´t wander off by yourself.
The Coconino National forest has a healthy wildlife population, but all wild animals avoid humans. Let´s keep it that way - never attempt to touch or feed any wildlife you may encounter. Always shake out your boots and clothes before you put them on to avoid scorpions.
Yes, we have rattlesnakes, but snake bites are extremely rare, and most involve alcohol intoxication. Also, rattlesnakes hibernate from October to April.
Remember not to let your pet roam in the desert after dusk.